Yoga Inversions are poses that place your heart higher than your head. These are the elusive gravity-defying postures that make you put your hand on your heart and sigh!! At least that’s what I do when I watch the Fitness Goddesses of this world balance their complete body on one hand or just on their head. And it gives me a deep longing of achieving the same feat. But, and this is a big But, the truth is – one should not rush into it. In this post, I will show simple tips to learn yoga inversions at home, like headstands and handstands at home.
It requires years of practice, hours and hours of hard work to train your body to hold that one enticing pose, even if it’s for a couple of breaths. Including the understanding of how each movement affects the anatomy of the body. Injuries caused by yoga and other workouts are pretty scary. We need to let go of ego and not hesitate to practice with props, be it against the wall, or with blocks under knees, or a strap to reach for the foot.
Undoubtedly, preparatory poses for inversions plays an important role in training the body. During the initial months of practice, I only did the preparatory poses, because that’s all I could manage. They are also a great way to know if your body is ready to go upside down. It feels like magic when after weeks of practicing, one day suddenly you are defying gravity. Apart from Shoulder stand, Tripod headstand was the first inversion I was able to, where you are balancing your body on your head and palms. If you are able to hold a Pike tripod headstand, then you can gradually straighten your body into a headstand. I initially started practicing against the wall and then slowly moved away. It took me months to get there. Few rounds of Suryanamaskars to warm up the body, followed by standing stretches and then the preparatory poses.
This was me in Sept 2015, barely able to keep straight, elbows flayed out, feet not together!!
My inversions are still a work in progress. I haven’t moved away from the wall for most of them yet and can hold them only for a couple of seconds. But to get there itself involves an hour of practicing Hatha yoga and variation of planks.
I find forearm stand extremely difficult. There’s very little space between my shoulders, head and floor. I never practice them without support and only after Headstands.
Dolphin pose is a great way to gauge how ready your body is. Practicing the pose against the wall will help you to form a proper form and grow stronger to do hold this pose.
As you might have read, I only started holding handstand since this February..
In my attempt to get that heady feel of balancing on arms, I used to practice between doorways or ‘one legged handstand’ (1st in the below picture) with support from the wall. These slowly helped me in building shoulder and core strength.
What I learnt on my first day of headstand was never to get up immediately after doing inversion (I had to answer a call). You will see black spots and stars and moon and feel the rotation of Earth. Always rest in a child pose.
Stay Strong, stay humble!!
Note: Please consult a Doctor if you have suffered from injuries or any ailment before starting a fitness regime. I am only a beginner, a student and this post describes my practice and what works for me.
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